Last week I shared a sample pastoral prayer–one I prayed during one of our worship services at Grace Fellowship Church. In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing some more of these, some prayed by me and some by others. I am doing this primarily as a resource that may help inspire or kick-start others as they prepare to lead God’s people in prayer.
Father, you are kind and good, while we are sinful and bad. Father, you are gracious and patient, while we are harsh and so short-tempered. Father, you are merciful and forgiving, while we are cutthroat and hold onto grudges. We need your mercy. We need your forgiveness. We’d be utterly lost without it. We confess our sins before you and ask that you would forgive us.
You say, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” So please forgive our lawless deeds. Cover our sins. Do not count our sins against us. Lord, you also say, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We have confessed so we pray that you would cleanse. We are going to choose to believe that promise, that even though our sins are so many, your mercy is more. We are choosing to claim your promise and to believe it and to trust that our sin has been taken away, that your regard us as pure, not because of anything we’ve done or anything we are, but simply because of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Thank, God, for being who you are. Thank you for being kind and good and gracious and patient and merciful and forgiving. You are all that and so much more. We could spend all morning pondering all you are and all you’ve done. We could spend all week recounting it and we wouldn’t come close to reaching the end. So we thank and praise you. No wonder we love to gather here to praise you. No wonder we love to sing praises to your name. No wonder we love to open your Word and hear you speak. No wonder we love to pour out our hearts to you in prayer. No wonder. What a God you are! You alone are worthy of our worship. You alone.
Father, we thank you for all the ways you’ve expressed your goodness to us this week. You’ve forgiven us for our every sin. You’ve provided for our every need. You’ve given us a place to live where we enjoy law and safety and freedom. You’ve given us a church family where we enjoy Christian brotherhood and sisterhood. You’ve given us the ability to begin this new week joining together in worship to you. Best of all, you’ve given us yourself. Without you we lack all good things, but with you we lack no good thing. If we only have you, we are rich beyond measure. The greatest treasures of this world are nothing if we have you.
Father, we long for this to be a church that welcomes all people—all those who are weary and need rest, all who mourn and long to be comforted, all who are lost and feel worthless, all who understand that they have sinned before you, all who wonder if you even care about them. We pray that this morning all of us here would be aware of our deep need for you. And help us to be aware that you are big enough and strong enough and powerful enough to meet our every need. I pray that we as a church would exemplify caring for one another, loving one another, fellowshipping as brothers and sisters brought together in this great family with God himself as our father. I pray that those who are mourning would be comforted by you through us. I pray that we would speak your truths, that we would minister in your name, that we would extend your grace. Let us love one another with your love.
Now please be with us as we continue to worship. Be with Steve as he prepares to preach your Word. Be with us that we can listen attentively, that we can understand clearly, that we can apply carefully, that we can become more and more like our Savior. And it’s in his name that we pray, Amen.